Leaders Hold Panel Discussion On How To Make Local Communities Safer Amid Rise In Hate Crimes

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A panel discussion led by local leaders was held on how to make communities safer after data shows hate crimes are on the rise in the state.

A group of panelists came together on Wednesday before a packed crowd at the Heinz History Center to find answers on how to combat these attacks.

Two solutions came to the forefront: education and the internet.

“We have seen a significant spike in religious-based attacks,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “We’ve seen attacks on our LGBTQ community, racists-based attacks. This is real. This is what we’re combating every day in law enforcement.”

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Wasi Mohamed, the Pittsburgh Director of Community Entrepreneurship for Forward Cities, said while free speech can’t be policed in a free society, free time — especially among young people — can.

While monitored online activity was just one part of the solution, Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers offered another type of suggestion: getting to the why of hate, which comes from understanding one another.

“No matter what you look like, where you come from, who you love, who you pray to or who you choose not to pray to and that’s the center of all the work we do,” Myers said.